Nothing works without energy. We need energy for mobility, heat and light, to prepare food and beverages, render services and manufacture products.

The amount of energy we use for different purposes depends on the intelligence and efficiency of energy use. Furthermore, it depends on the existing infrastructure, the market conditions and the political-administrative framework. In addition, demands concerning the care economy and requirements regarding flexibilisation have an impact on the energy we use.

Thermal insulation
There is great potential for energy savings, especially in the building sector, such as the thermal insulation of attics.

Energy savings through increased energy efficiency can be achieved at different points along the supply and demand chain:

  • On the energy demand side: by using energy intelligently without reducing the level of energy or mobility comfort (energy savings through increased energy end-use efficiency) or by replacing an energy carrier with one that uses less primary energy (energy savings by substitution). Furthermore, energy can also be saved if we need or demand a lower level or a different kind of comfort, which is energy sufficiency, often in combination with energy efficiency. Analysing policies regarding energy efficiency and sufficiency on the demand side is one of the key activities of the Energy, Transport and Climate Policy Division.
  • In energy supply: renewables, combined heat (cold) and power production, efficient power plants. These are topics that are mainly dealt with by the division.
  • In energy transmission and distribution: for example, by using energy-efficient transformers, reducing or – in heat grids – insulating lines, and by system optimisation.

All of these areas offer major potentials for innovation and market opportunities. Realisation can be fostered by adequate policies and measures. The Wuppertal Institute researches and advises governments scientifically, especially in the field of energy efficiency on the demand side. This is the case in EU projects like "ENSMOV", which offers support in implementing the EU's Energy Efficiency Directive to the member states' governments. In the EU project "COMBI", a consortium of institutes under the direction of the Wuppertal Institute compiled a comprehensive database on the many benefits of energy efficiency. The follow-up project "MICAT" is now developing the methods further for practical application in the evaluation of policies and measures.

Other projects focus on the analysis of policy packages and instruments for energy efficiency in buildings and appliances.


Here you find research activities in the field of energy efficiency.

Related projects

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